My minion memories
There’s a thing about being a warlock. You have demons for pets, you ride a demonic steed, and you fling corrupted fire or shadow at your enemies. These are things you do. It’s part of the warlock identity to do these things.
Doing something purely cosmetic like letting other classes on the same account ride the Dreadsteed just feels entirely wrong to me. I feel like it’s a warlock thing that needs to stay only a warlock thing.
Account-wide Dreadsteeds and warlock identity
Currently on Mists of Pandaria beta, class mounts like warlock Dreadsteeds and paladin Chargers are shared cross-class in the new account-wide mount system.
This makes me sad.
That it makes me sad is not up for debate whether I’m right or wrong to be sad about it. I just am sad about it, so if you have a problem wth that, go the fuck away because I’m not arguing it.
I’ve also had mixed feelings regarding the Grimoire of Supremacy. When it was still just another talent on a new talent calculator, we didn’t know if the superior demons would be merely upgrades or entirely new demons with new names. If you remember the Patch 4.0.1 fiasco where warlocks logged in to find their pets renamed, it’s not just a simple pet switch for the sake of DPS to some of us long-time warlocks. These are computer pixels we’ve had every day for a long time, dying beside us in raids and nomming our enemies while we set them on fire or corrupt them with shadow.
We’ve been likened to hunters and their pets, and while there’s similarities, it’s different. Hunters choose their pets — well, past the starting on anyway. Warlocks are stuck with their pets, for the most part. You can abandon a demon now and get a new one, but it’s a random generator. The DK ghoul is the warlock abandonment thing on crack.
So it’s like an accidental friendship for warlocks. You’re stuck with this demon through whatever you do. At first, your demon is your slave, and you don’t really care if it dies or not. But after a while, I actually get sad if my demon dies during a fight. I get irritated at mechanics that kill my felhunter over and over again (I’m looking at you, Hagara’s lightning phase).
So seeing another class on a Dreadsteed — especially if it’s a filthy mage — is just plain wrong to me. I don’t care if it makes sense to you or not, it’s wrong. It’s another mount to add to your collection.
The illusion of the Grimoire tier
Each talent tier has its own theme. Tier 2 is still debated a bit among warlocks, since that’s our CC tier, and PvP locks are pissed the fuck off about it, since two of the talents are currently baseline in Cataclysm.
Tier 5 is the Grimoire of X/Y/Z tier, and it deals with pets we have. There’s Grimoire of Sacrifice, which sacrifices your pet in return for a bonus to your damage and health. There’s Grimoire of Service which allows you to summon a second demon, different or not, for a short time. And there’s Grimoire of Supremacy, which replaces your baseline demons with stronger ones.
There was a thing Blizz said a long time ago that they wanted to move toward warlocks using whichever pet they wanted to, rather than locking pets into specific purposes.
But it’s not actually choosing. I can’t run with Bheezhem my felhunter if I have Grimoire of Supremacy, because the felhunter isn’t even an option. I have a whole new set of pets to deal with.
On the one hand, it’s another set of demons to make new memories with. That’s not a bad thing.
On the other hand, I can’t play with my old dog Bheezy if Supremacy is the obvious best DPS way to go. I’ll be playing with Colcor, the Observer. Or someone else.
My demons are special to me
A dog is for all expansions, not just Wrath. — Demeternoth
I have three demons that I consider my core. Bizmir, Ormmon, and Bheezhem. Take any of them away from me, and you’ve effectively killed the game for me.
Bizmir is my imp. He’s the first demon I knew way back in Northshire Abbey when I was still scared to brave the hostile level 4 Defias that guarded the chest that always spawned by the tent. He was my demon when I started raiding for real, when it was progression, in Naxxramas 2.0, or Naxx-10/25. I remember using him as my Dark Pact mana-battery, but I took care of him. I had to un-phase him to get the paladin to bless him with Wisdom, and I had to bug the paladin about it. It became a thing in my guild at the time — “Wiz on Biz” or “Wiz on my imp!”
I have clear Naxx memories with Bizmir, which is doubly important since it was my first real raid with my first real minion. There’s learning exactly how far away Patchwerk could swing at me because Soulshatter was so shitty an ability that I rode the 129% threat line constantly and didn’t want to dump my threat until the last possible second that I could. I remember having to resummon him after jumping off Gluth’s pipe. I see him happily phased and pew-pewing away at Lady Blaumeux as I dodged her black circles of Ouch-Sauce with a pocket healer on Four Horsemen 10man, drain-tanking the back.
Ormmon is my faithful voidwalker. I leveled with him everywhere, and I still pull him out to tank things I like to solo. He’s huggable, and when I’m sad and alone out in Azeroth, I pull him out and imagine that he’s giving me a big voidwalker hug, which is like a big bear hug but better. When someone introduced Squishables to me, I dreamed of them making a voidwalker squishable. He’s a voidwalker, so just a big puff of shadow void essence stuff, but I imagine him very comfy, and he’s the gentle giant of my demon squad.
I did the Kirin Tor Familiar achievement not because I love books or I needed my pet counter to tick up, but because then I could get a frosty Ormmon. So even when I was running with Bizmir out, I could still have an Ormmon around. A mini-Ormmon to hug like a stuffed animal.
Bheezy. Bheezhem is my felhunter, whom I’ve raided with for the back end of Wrath and all of Cataclysm. He does that totally cute gallumphing run, slobbering the whole way, wherever he goes. When the Aggressive stance was still around, I would hike myself up to Scarlet Monastery and walk into the Cathedral with the five bazillion mobs in there. I’d set him on Aggressive much like pet owners take their pets off the leash and let them run through parks. I think Bheezhem enjoyed that.
I can’t take him off the leash anymore, but I can run him through all the mobs he wants, and now I let him eat all the mobs in Sethekk Halls or Magister’s Terrace, regardless of whether it’ll let me loot afterwards. Bheezy is…I can’t go anywhere without Bheezy. I get disgruntled if a quest doesn’t work unless I dismiss my pet (looting issues to plain Mind Control things). I cried on Patch 4.0.1 when I found Phuudrom in place of Bheezy and I canceled my raid signup for the that night until it was fixed, because it really broke me up to have some strange yet identically pixelated felhunter running along like he was my Bheezy.
Patch 4.0.1 really did feel like a commenter put on Cynwise’s post: “They essentially killed your dog while you were on vacation and replaced him with a look alike and just hoped you wouldn’t notice when you got home.” It was the tinkling of bells for some of my pets, but upon trying to summon Bheezy, it was the clashing of cymbals in my face.
My succubus and felguard are more situational pets. I’ve always favored destruction as my second spec, but I’ve dipped into demonology for fun every once in a while. As a result, I like to think that my succubus and felguard don’t mind not being used much. It’s a mutual feeling between all of us that we just aren’t the closest, nothing personal. But when I do bring each out, they have things to teach me, to show me how “we” could be, and I appreciate those things.
Bryantia is my succubus, and I’ve never been a fan of the overly sexual succubus. But Bryantia is my minion, nonetheless, and I was sad for even her to disappear in 4.0.1. Since then, she’s taught me how blow people off Lumber Mill, because no one expects the warlock knockback. She also comes out to play on specific fights like Alysrazor or Spine of Deathwing, since Bheezy doesn’t like flying or heights in general. She knows she’s not my favorite, but it doesn’t bother her, and she’s happy to come teach me how to get “along” with people in PvP when I call for her. She’s my wingwoman and my girlfriend to talk BG trash with.
Skurikkilig is my felguard, and he’s a patient guy who solves everything with his axe. He puts up with my fumbling over my cooldowns, and he charges ahead while I sprout purple wings. We’re both people who like “spinny things” and he’s happy to spin as much as possible into mobs despite it lowering my ability to get DoTs up. He looks like a brute, but he’s fit, moreso than I am, and glides and charges around mobs like a darting butterfly. When we have downtime together (usually, I’m looting), he gives me tips on the momentum of cooldowns and placement tips like Hand of Gul’dan that later help me tank. Skuri’s a great guy.
This next part sounds totally unrelated to WoW, but it’s important.
My favorite goalkeeper is Briana Scurry, who was the GK for USA Women in the absolutely amazing 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, in which USA has a well-fought tie in regular and extra time with China in the championship, proceeded to PKs, and won on penalty kicks 5-4. The unscored shot by China wasn’t an off-target miss, but it was saved by the US goalkeeper, Scurry.
In 1999, I was in the full stride of my tenure as a goalkeeper on my AYSO soccer teams. So yeah, while the entire team was fantastic, Scurry won that game for me. She’s an American, she was a goalkeeper, and she is a woman in soccer — that was and still is a whole lot of awesome in one idol. I didn’t really care about Mia Hamm — Scurry was all I needed. The only two soccer jerseys I’ll ever want are two GKs: Briana Scurry’s from 1999 World Cup & Iker Casillas’s #1 Spain jersey from any of his appearances ever. If I can only pick one, Scurry wins.
So it really tickles me that outside my core demons, I randomly got Bryantia and “Skuri” Skurikkilig, a combination that is really damn close to my childhood goalkeeper idol. And when I pull out Bryantia or Skuri, I’m about to go do things I could be good at, rather than things I am good at. It’s like miniature idols. I know it’s a complete coincidence, but I can’t really let it go. I can’t have a different succubus or felguard. It just isn’t right.
My Dreadsteed…was done the old way, at 60 and through the questline. I admit I didn’t have as hard a grind as the original original super-Vanilla warlocks out there, as my guildmates had done it be before and still had parts and extra items, so I did some of the steps far more rapidly than others. But I did the questline nonetheless. I also got to see the paladin experience in one of the dungeons at the same time. It felt awesome to finally get the Dreadsteed.
Mor’zul Bloodbringer, the NPC who started the whole chain, is no longer in the game. But Gorzeeki Wildeyes, the goblin who was the goldsink for the mount’s summoning parts, still sells the stuff, and is now a quest NPC in Cataclysm for stuff around it.
So while the Dreadsteed is just another fiery mount for you to add to your vast collection, and maybe you can even feel “bad” and giggle about look I’m a mage on a warlock mount…
…it’s very much similar to my demons. It’s a big deal to me to share things that are wholly and only warlock to me. I have memories attached to my warlock things, and opening them up to everyone just for the sake of accessibility or “new fashion” makes my memories feel like they’ve lost a bit of the universal special they had.
I know I’ll get over it eventually, and that it might even be not-intended that the Dreadsteed is shared cross-class on beta right now, but could you just let an old ‘lock be sad for a bit?